Zamboanga Family’s Brand Sardines and Bataan Risers banked on new acquisitions Alvin Pasaol and Reed Juntilla, respectively, to prevail over their rivals on Wednesday in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Lakan Season at Caloocan Sports Complex.
Pasaol, traded by Bataan for Juntilla, then with Zamboanga, turned hot in the fourth quarter to power the Zamboanguenos past the General Santos Warriors, 62-52.
Juntilla on the other hand, sparked the Risers’ fourth quarter breakaway that enabled them to nip the Pasay Voyagers, 72-71, and climb to an even 7-7 record in the North division of the 31-team league.
Both Pasaol and Juntilla scored 20 points and earned best player honors, proving that their one-on-one trade was equal and beneficial to Zamboanga and Bataan.
The burly but mobile Pasaol poured 9 points in the fourth quarter, enabling Zamboanga to shatter the last tie at 43 and break free at 57-48 en route to a 9-8 record in the South division.
A triple by Juntilla shoved the Risers ahead, 68-59, after which the Voyagers gave chase and trim the gap at the buzzer.
Juntilla got ample help from John Bryon Villarias with 21 points and Alfred Batino with 10 as Bataan snapped Pasay’s seven-game run and pulled down the Voyagers to 10-6.
The Caloocan Supremos proved superior to the Cebu City Sharks in the nightcap, posting a 70-54 victory that raised their record to 9-7 in the North division.
Paul Sanga sparkled for the Victory Liner-supported Supremos with 17 points, followed by AJ Mandani and Cedric Labing-isa with 10 each, and Rene Pacquiao with 9 points and 11 rebounds.
The Sharks fell deeper in the South standings at 5-9.